Caring for our Heroes

500 kids…

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That’s a whole lot of people who need love, encouragement, empowerment, and clean laundry! So, how do we it at Heroes? How do we serve each child, from the smallest to the tallest, and keep the ship moving at the pace of life?

HTNpics (1229)Well for one thing, the Heroes home is a highly organized place. Every staff member and student has their own important tasks that contribute to the well-being of the whole group. With over 60 staff members and over 500 children giving to the whole, it amazing what we can accomplish!

HTNpics (781)Organization is key. Our Heroes are housed by age and gender in a total of 5 dormitories, each dorm holding between 75 and 120 children. 3 of the dorms have a housemother (or housemothers in the case of the youngest children) who oversees the physical space as well as all the children’s clothing and bedding.

The mothers make sure that each child is able to complete their daily hygiene and chores (physical cleanliness, making bed, brushing teeth, keeping their things in order, etc). They also oversee the cleaning of their dorm daily, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom facilities, washing bedding, and more.HTNpics (16)

The High School boys and girls have their own separate dorms, but do not have a housemother sleeping in the building. Instead, they have student prefects who have a gift of encouragement and organization, and who help their dorms run well. These individuals are elected by students and staff, and it is quite an honor. In addition, two female teachers look in on the high school girls’ dorm at night and monitor any of their needs, while two male teachers do the same for the high school boys.

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Highschoolers take responsibility for their own environment, cleaning and caring for it with a high standard for orderliness and appearance. We also have a housematron who oversees the housemothers as well as all the high school students’ dorms, and ensures that issues don’t get overlooked.

HTNpics (1224)If a child arrives at class disheveled, under-prepared, emotionally upset, or seems out of the ordinary in any way, the teachers communicate with the housemother and then together as a staff, they address the needs of that young hero. This flow of care ensures that each child is not just adequately accounted for but really nutured emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.

HTNpics (1010)Yes, 500 children take a lot of care. But no one staff person is alone in meeting all the needs of any one child. Instead, each child has multiple adults watching over and guiding him or her through life. This system has been honed over the past 17 years Heroes of the Nation has been in existence. Every piece of the picture is tried and true, and in place to ensure that each one of our heros have what they need to grow, learn, and dream!

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To find out more about Heroes of the Nation and all the ways you can help nurture our heroes, check out our website, meet some of the children on our sponsorship link, or even arrange to visit the Heroes of the Nation campus in Kenya.

Mission Possible!

IMG_3035Come the end of March, another amazing mission team will roll up to the open gates and welcoming hearts of the Heroes of the Nation community. This is rich ground, seeded over the years by the love, nurture, and teaching of the staff and by many previous teams. Like those who’ve gone before them, the team will carry with them a passion to listen to the Father and do what He’s doing, cultivating the seeds and bringing encouragement. Excitement is building!

IMG_3514 (1)Team programs–what the team will do while in Kenya–are designed well in advance of their arrival by collaborative effort on the part of the team leaders, our African director, Violet Gitonga, and Kari Brekke Kahoro, a Norwegian missionary who came to serve at Heroes over 6 years ago, and decided to stay.

The March 2018 team is made up of 5 teenagers from the US, England and Canada, 5 BSSM second year students from the US, Taiwan, and Mexico, a worship leader from Nashville, TN, and a missionary from South Africa. The theme will be KIDS CAMP and they will focus on worship and the creative arts, activations in the prophetic for kids, and experiencing Father’s embrace.  The team will also add to previous years’ foundation of Moral Revolution teachings, and of course, lots of playtime with the kids!

IMG_3045Each team member will have an opportunity to plan their own part of the program, each bringing his or her own unique perspective and passion to our kids in different sessions over the week. During these times, we break our young heroes into small groups so that each one can receive needed ministry and encouragement, connect with our visitors, and create life-long friendships. We also plan a program for our incredible staff, making sure we take time to recognize their sacrifice, their hearts and their commitment to God.

IMG_3146 (1)All in all, the visiting teams and everyone at Heroes has so much to share and learn from one another. Though the teams come ready to pour themselves out, inevitably, they receive much more than they give.

Sound like something you’d love to be involved in?

Contact us to inquire how to you can join an upcoming team, or how you can help in other ways.

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Hero for His Nation

27072407_1586126018121564_6018341080907380230_nAt 19 years old and about 5’10” tall, Ian looks like your usual high school student. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that he is anything but average. Ian has a huge dream and is already taking steps to see it fulfilled.

africa-kenya-mdHe not only wants to unite all the tribes in Kenya, but also to have the whole of Africa become one beautiful nation where corruption will no longer be a problem and where godly men and women will bring order and peace to the continent. One of the practical ways he is pursuing that goal is by mobilizing the youth of Kenya to become those who serve their communities and God.

Ian grew up at Heroes of the Nation where he discovered who he was created to be and got to know that not only does the Lord love him, but has good plans for his life. After primary school, he started going to high school at a location outside of Heroes. There he saw  brokenness firsthand, and how drugs, sex, alcohol and corruption are destroying so many. Yet he also saw that those same people were bursting with potential and looking for a place to live out their gifts and dreams. He carried that picture with him when he returned in his Junior year to finish high school at Heroes of the Nation Academy.

photo (7)Then Ian started a youth group. He began with 96 members, teaching them what he learned from Heroes of the Nation, giving a platform where they, too, could dream and grow in their gifts and identities. This coalition has grown to 543 people from various schools across the region who are hungry to transform their nation. They meet often to discuss issues, look for solutions for their communities and nation, strategize, and dream. Ian’ heart is to educate, motivate and lead his generation in cultivating a healthy and prosperous Kenya and Africa.

These young people are passionate about uniting hearts and tribes, and are working in their communities to create awareness of political conditions and a healthy lifestyle culture that includes good morals and appropriate boundaries. Ian believes that within the next two years, membership could swell to 2 million!

photo (9)A gifted speaker and leader, Ian networks with different groups and reaches out to different speakers in hopes of bringing more strength and vision to the coalition. After visiting with Ian in January, one of our mission team describes him: “If you start getting connected to Ian you immediately recognize that he has no fear of approaching people. He knows who he is and that God has put a big dream in his heart!”

Yes, uniting Kenya and ultimately Africa is a big endeavor, but Ian truly believes that he can do all things through Christ. And after all, that’s what Heroes of the Nation is all about!

IMG_1167-3To learn more about all that goes on at HTN, to arrange a visit to hobnob face to face with Kenya’s up-and-coming world changers, or to see how you can be involved, check out our website and browse through previous blog posts (index to the right of this page).

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Good Stuff Happening at Heroes

photo (3)January is a busy month at Heroes of the Nation in Kenya, with children returning to school and about 50 new students entering Heroes Primary and High School Academies for the first time. Administrators, teachers, housemothers, cooks and campus staff have been preparing classrooms, dormitories, bedding, ordering food, and doing all the odds and ends needed to welcome our beautiful kids home from Christmas break. Getting off to a strong start is highly valued in our community, and as the children are encouraged, they show their potential in everything they do.

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BSSM Photo Crew

January also turned out to be an especially good time for our friends from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to visit. This talented team of photographers was invited to share their creative gifts with HTN. Their assignment? To capture the many incredible stories behind the scenes.  Their images and footage will help us communicate the transition that takes place in the lives of our kids so that people who can’t actually be there to see it first hand can witness what makes Heroes of the Nation so special.

photo (6)Besides filming our young heroes on site, the team had the opportunity to visit and photograph the Massai village where over 130 of our children currently come from as well as the local slum where many of our children lived prior to coming to HTN.  They also were privileged to go to Nakuru to visit with over 45 of our university students and capture their stories as well.

Although the editing process is still underway, the pictures on this post are a few candid shots caught during the week. Toward the end of April, we’ll be holding a local (Redding, CA) photo art exhibit to showcase some of the team’s images and footage and to raise funds and awareness for our Heroes. Stay tuned for more info and photos in the coming weeks!

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A young hero tells his story.


Graduating Heroes Class of 2017

HTNpics (1295)Heroes Academy, the educational and academic component of Heroes of the Nation, graduates between 20 and 40 students each December. At the end of grade 12, our students spend the month of November studying for and completing an exam administered by Kenya’s Ministry of Education, which tests their retention of knowledge over their years in high school. It is a rigorous exam, and both students and staff take it quite seriously (probably the equivalent of our SAT or ACT). Without a HS diploma, a student cannot apply for college and further choices will be restricted.

HTNpics (691)The exams are scored and our graduates have a minimum wait of six months before they are eligible to begin their college courses. Students who perform well may receive government and private sector scholarships and have a variety of choices for where they will continue their post-high school education. Students who have performed poorly, or not at the level their program or course requires, will have to complete a ‘bridge’ year, where they prove themselves a bit more.

HTNpics (681)Currently, we are not able to finance all our Heroes’ college programs, so the leadership staff must make decisions. Sadly, it’s often the difference between one student who has a sponsor, and one who does not, since the monthly sponsorship helps to cover a student’s living expenses while in college, and practical matters must be considered. Recently I heard of a very capable student who scored well and wanted to attend the Rift Valley Institute in Nakuru to study Tourism HTNpics (1114)Management, but his sponsor had decided to remove his support just a few months earlier. Although I hadn’t met the student personally, at the time, the recommendation he was receiving from our African director was strong and beckoned my action. My monthly gift of $60 is making an enormous difference for this student, and I couldn’t be happier. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him last week, in Kenya, and I am absolutely and completely impressed with his heart, his mind and his vision! (Thank you, God, for the privilege to sow into what you’re already doing!!)

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2018 College students with Bishop Weston and Violet Gitonga and Titus Hug, who along with his wife Elizabeth have sponsored many college students (and currently sponsor 36).

HTNpics (1101)It has been 17 years since our first Heroes came to Violet and Weston Gitonga, and established Heroes of the Nation as an orphanage and school. Since then, we’ve seen those first children not only graduate Heroes academy, but graduate college, obtaining degrees in Finance, Law, Nursing, Tourism Management, Food & Beverage and more. We are so incredibly proud of our Heroes graduates and all the glory goes to you, Heavenly Father, for allowing us to love and serve our kids well!

If you’d like to sponsor one of our potential college students, please reach out and let us know! It will surely make a big difference in a very precious life!

In Him who always provides above and beyond,

Susie Thompson
Asst. Director
Heroes of the Nation

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A few of our Heroes earning their college degrees 2018

Heroes in the Job Market

VillageJobs are tough to find in Kenya, even for a well-educated young man or woman. Unemployment in the region for those age 18-25 is 40 percent, and to make matters worse, the labor market is undereducated. This lack of training for young people just out of high school leaves a whole generation in a precarious social position.

Founders of Heroes of the Nation, Bishop Weston and Violet Gitonga, with one of their recent graduates. Violet is director at HTN.

At Heroes of the Nation, we want to be part of the solution to this problem. That is one reason our kids are taught about business from an early age, and the entrepeneurial spirit is instilled in them at every grade. We know that business can become an engine for growth, creating jobs and giving people hope. Our Heroes grow up wanting to bring positive change to their communities, and we teach them that a great way to do that is to bring business to the region.

Hannah with Weston and Violet Gitonga

Because of a very special family from Washington who generously offer grants to our graduates to pursue and start their own businesses, many of our Heroes are able to begin living out their dream of being a business owner immediately after graduation from college. Hannah, who recently earned her degree in interior design, found her niche. Graduating around the time that Kenya outlawed plastic bags, she has opened up shop, and is now sewing and selling grocery bags, curtains and clothing. (Check out Hannah’s story).

Cecelia with the Gitongas

Cecelia, another of our heroes, graduated in 2017 with a certificate in Cosmetology from Rift Valley College. She opened her own salon and shop in Nakuru town and has been serving customers for a few months already.

We couldn’t be more proud of all of our Heroes who study hard and take advantage of every opportunity, continuing to press on even though they face great challenges. They are the change their communities need, and it is a privilege to partner with each and every one of them!

To see how you can help, visit our website at, or contact us with specific questions.

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